HTC’s recently announced U Series phones are considered flagship level, at least the U Ultra with its Snapdragon 821 processor is, but there’s going to be something even more special coming later in the year.
In an interview with Tbreak at the U series launch in Dubai, Chialin Chang, HTCs president of smartphones and connected devices revealed that another device is in the pipeline. The problem is that this pipeline seems to be clogged at the moment. Yesterday Chris wrote an opinion piece regarding the lack of competition in the CPU chipset arena and what he wrote has hit the nail on the head it seems. Mr Chang said that:
Every time there is a brand new CPU with power that we can leverage, we’re always at the forefront doing that. Some people are talking about the timing [of our release] but timing was determined 9 months ago. This is the best CPU out there. When the next flagship CPU comes, HTC will be one of the very first tier doing that.
When we will look back, it will be clear why HTC introduced [these new phones.] We want to have a couple of months of leadership before the next flagship CPU comes. But that will be in another period of time- not at MWC. Not for us or any other player. I can tell you that for sure. When the new CPU comes, HTC will have another flagship.
To me, and I’m sure you, it seems that Mr Chang is referring to the Snapdragon 835 and its lack of availability for everyone except Samsung. With the Samsung Galaxy S8 set to be released in April it will be well after then that it will be available for other manufacturers. At this stage it seems possible that we will not see HTC’s true 2017 flagship until towards the end of the second quarter of 2017.
In other worthy news it seems that alongside HTCs own AI that they touted at their U series announcement HTC will also be incorporating Google Assistant into the U series of phones.
At some point it will come [to our phones] when its ready. Google wants HTC to do Google Assistant so it can spread to get big data and allow them many things. They want us to incorporate the Assistant in a standard, prominent way. We will use that, but that’s on the cloud. Beyond that, there’s a lot of device information that can be helpful to a consumer which we want to provide [with our AI]
So while we will not see any SD835-driven phones until the Galaxy S8 is announced and then not till a while after that for other manufacturers, we already know through our experience with the Google Pixel phones that the SD821 is no slouch. LG have already decided that they would rather put the SD821 in their phones than wait until the middle of the year to release. HTC have decided to wait for their main flagship until mid-year (ish) but until then the U Ultra running SD821 is a worthy competitor to anything else on the market.
With HTC having to wait so long for the SD835 to become available it also means they will be able to put a lot of effort and research into it so we would hope to see one hell of a phone. Anyone else looking forward to seeing what HTC can do with a SD835 alongside Google Assistant and Nougat with a few extra months of development up their sleeves?